Trek Turkey's High Taurus and Cappadocia

Hike 100km through the towering peaks, arid plateaus and otherworldly valleys of the Aladaglar Mountains and Göreme National Park

From

Trip Ref #10548

Trek Turkey's High Taurus and Cappadocia

Hike 100km through the towering peaks, arid plateaus and otherworldly valleys of the Aladaglar Mountains and Göreme National Park

DURATION

8 nights

LOCATION

Turkey

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days

SEASON

Jun-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Kayseri Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Hotel · Campsite

OVERALL RATING

0.0

This trip is brand new
DIFFICULTY

Challenging

A good level of fitness is needed to tackle the high altitude peak, plateau and valley walking.

Traverse the high-altitude passes and remote plateaus of the Taurus range and summit Mount Emler (3723m)

Hike among the caves, ‘fairy chimneys’ and sculpted valleys of the UNESCO-listed Cappadocia region

Camp amid panoramic vistas and the seven lakes of Yedigoller, and explore ancient cave villages carved into the landscape

Day 1

Welcome to Turkey

Touch down in the heart of Anatolia, where you'll be collected by your host for the short transfer to your hotel in Kayseri. If there’s time, explore the old city which has some of the most impressive mosques in the region, masterpieces from the Seljuk period, and an 800-year-old bazaar.

Day 2

Into the mountains

Hiking

3-4hrs · 10km · 410m up

Meet your guide and your fellow travellers over breakfast and chat about the adventure ahead, before getting into the van and heading to the Aladaglar Mountains - home to lakes, deep canyons and the highest peaks of Turkey's mighty Taurus range. Near Elekgolu village, you'll set off on a hike through the sheer-walled Kazikli Canyon, up into the Emli Valley and on to your campsite. Settle into your first night in the mountains with a Turkish tea and dinner.

Day 3

To Sokulupinar

Hiking

6hrs · 15km · 785m up · 535m down

Fuel up on breakfast and head out in the fresh mountain air, through the forest and upwards to the Siyirmalik Valley. The terrain levels out as you reach the Eznevit Plateau, inhabited by hospitable semi-nomadic families in their traditional tents. Take in the epic views, then continue onwards to Sakartas, finally reaching the next campsite at Sokulupinar. Settle in for dinner and bed down at an elevation of 2000m.

Day 4

Dipsiz Lake

Hiking

7hrs · 22km · 900m up · 895m down

Set off towards the Arpalik Plateau and up to Tekepinari, home to grazing alpine ibex. Hike along a narrow trail with stunning views of the north face of Mount Demirkazik (3756m), tracking a riverbed leading to Dipsiz Lake. Tuck into a picnic lunch and take a refreshing dip in the lake if the sun is shining. Head back down and on to the campsite to catch the changing colours of the sunset (and a well-deserved dinner).

Day 5

Summit Mount Emler (3723m)

Hiking

8hrs · 14km · 1720m up · 620m down

Head out and up the Karayalak Valley, leading to a natural spring and great views of the surrounding mountains. Continue on a steep section that leads over the Celikbuyduran Pass (3450m) and steadily upwards to summit one of the region's most renowned peaks, Mount Emler (3723m). Take in the panoramic vista of the Bolkar range and Mounts Erciyes (3917m) and Hasan (3268m). Return to the pass and continue downhill on to the arid, red rocks and colourful seven lakes of Yedigoller Plateau (3100m), and then on to your highest lakeside campsite at 3100m.

Day 6

Tackle the Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m)

Hiking

7hrs · 14km · 415m up · 715m down

Grab your pack and hit the trail to leave the Yedigoller Plateau, pass the second-largest lake in the area and continue up to the Teke Kalesi Pass (3517m). Take in the incredible views over the plateau, eyes open for more ibex with their curved horns. Head downwards through remote, arid pastures towards Yildiz (Star) Lake, until you reach Karagol Lake campsite at 2800m where you can relax for the evening.

Day 7

To Cappadocia

Hiking

4hrs · 17km · 5m up · 1100m down

Your final hike in the Aladaglar Mountains takes you down from Karagol, past babbling creeks, through Maden Gorge to Pinarbasi village. Here, you'll jump in the van and head towards Cappadocia, stopping en route to explore ancient Derinkuyu - an underground warren of a city carved into the rock. Roll into the village of Uchisar, where you can explore its fortress and take in the views of the unique Cappadocian landscape, then hike through the Akvadi Valley. Dotted with grapevines, follow the dry riverbed to Çavuşin village. One of the oldest settlements in the area, Çavuşin is made up of rock-cut dwellings and elegantly carved stone houses.

Day 8

Hike the valleys of Cappadocia

Hiking

5hrs · 13km · 85m up · 225m down

Head out into the World Heritage Site and hike Kiliclar (Sword) Valley, past Cappadocia's other-worldly ‘fairy chimneys’ and long abandoned cave homes, drinking in the stunning views. Discover the houses, churches and frescos cut into the rock at the Göreme open-air museum before hiking through two of the most beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia: Meskendir Valley and Red Valley. Take in the spectacular rock formations in hues of red, pink and yellow.

Day 9

Depart

Rise and shine early to watch the hot air balloons float over the landscape, then bid farewell to your fellow adventurers before you’re transferred to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking mountain guide

Accommodation

3 nights in hotels and 5 nights camping

Meals

All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Porterage

Support team of cook, porters and mules

Equipment

Camping equipment including tents and sleeping pad

Permits

All permits, tickets and entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Some equipment

Visas where required

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 6

Campsite · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7 – Day 8

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

The food in Turkey is more than just your classic kebab, with traditional and local meals as varied as its history. Many dishes make good use of seasonal vegetables, with fresh bread always in easy reach.

A classic Turkish breakfast ('kahvalti') is a mezze-type affair with bread, butter, olives, white cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, jam and honey, with strong coffee or freshly brewed Turkish tea. For lunch or dinner you could be served dolma (stuffed vegetables packed with a rice, spices, pine nuts, and maybe small dried fruits). Many types of kebap or köfte are popular, along with sweet or savoury börek (filo-based pastries) or lahmacun (flatbread topped with minced meat and seasoning), followed by sweet specialities.

Dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for, but please note that in some areas it may be difficult to cater for all special meal requirements - please request these on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Kayseri

Your first night in Turkey will be spent at the Gevher Hotel. Located a short drive from the airport and within easy reach of the local sights and restaurants, the hotel is a great jumping-off point to explore the region. You’ll stay in twin rooms with private bathrooms.

Aladaglar National Park

During the hike, you'll stay at campsites at different elevations. Your host will provide a twin share tent, complete with a sleeping mat. You’ll be accompanied by your guides and porters who will cook your meals. At the Emli Valley and Sokulupinar campsites, there are basic toilets and cold water washing blocks. At Yedigoller and Karagol campsites, the only facilities will be toilet tents.

Çavuşin

Your nights in Çavuşin village will be spent at the Garden Inn. Located in the heart of Cappadocia and with a large garden and terrace, it’s a great place to get up early and watch the myriad of hot air balloons float by. You’ll stay in twin rooms with private bathrooms.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Erkilet International Airport (Kayseri)

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Erkilet International Airport (Kayseri)

Any time on Day 9

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Kayseri Airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city. On Day 9, your host will transfer you from Cappadocia to Kayseri Airport in time for your onward flight.

Airport transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 9. For those arriving early or wanting to stay on longer, extra nights at the hotel and airport transfers can be arranged with your host at an additional cost. Please see Optional Extras for more information.

Travel options

There are indirect international flights to Kayseri from the UK, as well as direct and indirect flights from various major hubs in Europe which transit via Istanbul.

From the US, there are indirect flights from various major hubs which transit via Istanbul and Frankfurt.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Camping equipment including tents, sleeping pad, dining and cooking gear

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag (3-season)

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner for kitbag or rucksack/drybags

CLOTHES

  • Waterproof warm jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Robust fleece jacket or similar
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and hiking socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in/thermals (merino is best)
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals

SLEEPING

  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping bag (3-season)
  • Travel pillow or pillowcase

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Cash and debit/credit card
  • Hiking poles (optional)
  • Chapstick
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system

Sleeping bag (3 Season,5 nights)

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag (3 Season,5 nights)

Hiking Poles (A Set, 7 days)

Payable Before Departure

Hiking Poles (A Set, 7 days)

Pre Trip Accommodation Kayseri Hotel Room (single/double/twin)

Payable Before Departure

Pre Trip Accommodation Kayseri Hotel Room (single/double/twin)

Per Night

Post Trip Accommodation Cappadocia Hotel Room (single/double/twin)

Payable Before Departure

Post Trip Accommodation Cappadocia Hotel Room (single/double/twin)

Per Night

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Private Transfer from Cappadocia Hotel to Kayseri Airport (1-3 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Cappadocia Hotel to Kayseri Airport (1-3 people)

Private Transfer from Kayseri Airport to Kayseri Hotel (1-3 people)

Payable Before Departure

Private Transfer from Kayseri Airport to Kayseri Hotel (1-3 people)

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 240kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

You should have some experience of multi-day hikes and be happy walking for 4-8 hours a day with considerable ascent and descent for consecutive days, on uneven terrain, with some high altitude.

The trek will take you through the different environments of forested valleys, alpine pastures, exposed mountainsides and rocky, arid plateaus - but there are no technical sections. There will be days at high altitude around the ascent of Mount Emler (3723m) and changeable mountain weather will mean you need to be prepared. Porterage is included, so you'll only need to carry a small daypack with extra layers whilst you hike.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water in Turkey is generally not safe to drink, the quality of the water and mains infrastructure in more rural areas cannot be guaranteed. If plastic bottled water must be used, we suggest 3 or 4 members of the group share one large 5 or 10 litre bottle to refill your own bottles instead of buying separately. Please pack your own reusable bottle, it will be used well.

While hiking in the Aladaglar Mountains, water for drinking and for cooking is conveyed directly to campsites from natural mountain springs via sealed pipes, and can be purified if necessary. Please check with your guide at each camping location.

Water bottles with inbuilt filters are becoming increasingly popular for travellers to use in countries without clean tap water. Please see our guide for advice on the best water filters for adventurers if you wish to bring your own filtration bottle on this trip.

The summer weather in Cappadocia will be generally ideal with hot days, clear skies, fresh-feeling mornings and evenings, with a slim chance of rain. Daytime temperatures will be generally in the region of 22ºC / 72ºF to 28ºC / 82ºF, dropping down to between 8°C / 46°F to 12°C / 54°F at night.

Summer weather in the Taurus Mountains can be changeable. Temperatures will drop lower the higher you hike, with a chance of wind or afternoon showers. Expect the mercury to drop in the evenings with night time temperatures down to just above freezing at the highest camp (3100m).

General daytime temperatures in the Taurus Mountains are in the region of 17°C / 63°F to 30°C / 86°F, dropping down to between 5°C / 41°F to 11°C / 52°F at night.

For the duration of the hike in the High Taurus, excess luggage can be securely stored on Day 2 in Aladaglar Cukurbag village, at a private village house. You will be reunited with your excess luggage on Day 7 before heading to Cappadocia.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you by vehicle or mules, and then a day pack in which to carry personal items and a water bottle while hiking.

When you hike in the mountains, there's always the risk of getting altitude sickness, regardless of how old, young, fit or unfit you are. We would expect most hikers to feel some mild symptoms of altitude sickness (headache, sleeplessness, heavy breathing) when over 3000m. Our guides are trained to identify the symptoms of altitude sickness so if any more serious symptoms are noted, there is a strict procedure regarding extra care or a rapid descent if needed. All of our trips have been designed with altitude best practice in mind and the experienced guides follow advice to ‘walk high and sleep low’.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

From

Full Financial Protection

Your money is safe. Every booking is fully financially protected.

Pay In Installments

You can choose to pay for this trip in as many installments as you like, with no interest or fees.

Similar Trips

From